James Lee (1786-1852)

James Lee who tailor who perished in the Holmfirth Flood of 1852.


He was born in Holmfirth in 1786, the son of George Lee, and was baptised on 24 December 1786 at Holy Trinity, Holmfirth.

The 1841 Census lists him residing at Rocher Bottom, Holmfirth, with his wife Betty and their daughter Ruth Lee, and two others who are listed as James' grandchildren Job and Sarah Lee. The grandchildren's mother is uncertain, as Ruth was only 10 years older than Job.

By the time of the 1851 Census, Ruth had married a man named Benjamin Brierly or Brearley and they lived with her father.


According to The Flood Came and Took Them All Away and Sorrow on the Land, in the early hours of 5 February, James Lee and his son Job were working downstairs "making black clothes for a funeral" when the flood waters burst into the house. James quickly drowned but Job was able to keep his head above the rising water in the room. Upstairs, Benjamin was woken by Job's cries for help but was unable to open the door of the downstairs room due to the force of the water. Instead, he managed to smash one of the panels out of the door and was able to pull Job to safety through the gap.

James Lee's body was recovered by James Bailey and taken to the Elephant and Castle Inn where it was formally identified by Job Lee.

As a member of Ancient Order of Foresters, his relatives received £8 towards the cost of the funeral. James Lee was buried on Sunday 8 February at St. John the Evangelist, Upperthong.

James Lee (1786-1852)


Drowned | People | Victims of the Holmfirth Flood of 1852
This page was last modified on 27 January 2016 and has been edited by Dave Pattern.

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